June 21, 2012

can you make money doing what you love?

If we could all make money doing the exact thing we love, the world would surely be a better place. But how likely is it (putting aside the notion of the millionaire footballer) that this can actually happen? 

Most of the people I know, who are talented at a creative art are sure as hell not getting paid for it. Some people choose not to as they feel freer that way. This reminds me of the famous quote by Bill Cunningham who I always think of when I think of someone doing something solely for passion, not money: “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do. That’s the key to the whole thing.” Every morning he gets on his rusty bike with his old school camera and takes pictures all across NYC. He is respected, noted and works for the best newspaper in NY – The New York Times. Yet, he refuses to take any form of payment. He doesn’t even accept drinks at the functions he photographs. He feels that if the newspaper paid him, he wouldn’t be able to set up his page exactly the way he wants to. 

I’m not saying I don’t like his attitude, but I think more people should be paid for meaningful things they contribute to the world around them. 

This brings me on to my next point. Funding. Getting paid is one thing (a profit) but being funded is another. Being funded to actually put something into action means that an idea can actually begin to exist. When people have awesome ideas and they cannot physically do it, I think it’s so sad. However, yesterday, I discovered something exciting. Seth Godin (a marketing man with a very large brain) had crowdsourced funding for his new book. In his Forbes interview he explains that by using Kickstarter, the online platform he used to create the campaign, he find a way to organise and instigate movement.  At least this proves that to even get your creative work out there – there are ways in which you can do it.

One of my favourite articles which I have read numerous times is called “No, You Can’t Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much”. This hits the nail on the head regarding writers not getting anything for what they put out there. Doctors don’t give advice for free, neither to business consultants, or dentists or vets or architects. Yet writers dish out all of the inner workings of their mind, for zilch.

On this note, Dawn Porter (writer/TV presenter) recently replied on Twitter to my blog post “Are You A Writer Or A Blogger?”, I mention in there that writers don’t get paid very much. She replied with this tweet, which I thought explain the situation perfectly. To get paid (well, at least intially) you have to do something that isn’t as appealing on the side, or at first to raise the money.

You have to clean the toilet before you get to go to the party. Or some other random analogy like that. 

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